Holy moly it’s been a hot Summer! Most of my outfit choices as of late have involved being as naked as possible without literally looking like a naked person. Though I can’t say I’ve totally mastered the balance (there have definitely been some nudish days) my secret weapon has definitely been wrap dresses.
Wrap dresses are seriously the perfect summer staple: they come in all shapes, sizes, and cuts, feel loose and airy on your body while still showing off your shape and they’re easy to loosen on the go if the heat is turning you into a sweaty marshmallow puff (it happens to the best of us!) I have lots of different versions of wraps in my closet, but I love this Needle and Thread Rainbow Rose Wrap Dress from Hudson’s Bay for a number of reasons. First off, how beautiful is the fabric? There are so many magical rainbow flowers and delicate ribbons of colour woven into the pattern. Plus… it’s pink, and in my world that’s an easy sell! Add some ruffles and a a bit of lace trim and I’m totally in! Bonus? It’s now on super sale too!
Paired with dressy high heels and a clutch this piece is perfect for a wedding or evening affair, but I prefer to wear it in the daytime with a simple bucket bag and mules or even sneakers. Insider tip – it also came with a really cute slip dress layer that’s detachable and can be worn on its own too!
It’s been awhile since I bared all on the internet here (three years to be exact). A lot has changed in that time with both me and my body, and with so many changes to come it felt like the perfect moment to get a snapshot of where I’m at.
To be honest, this is the most comfortable I’ve ever felt in my skin.
I’ve never really had any sort of self loathing issues when it comes to my body, but I can’t say I’ve always had the healthiest tactics when it comes to staying in shape. For years I built up habits of over indulging and then punishing myself, trying to stay so busy that I “forgot to eat”. I think as someone with OCD fuelled anxiety and depression, depriving myself of food when life got really rough was a way to gain control over something, and in that twisted way it momentarily made me feel better to feel hungry. When everything was spiralling out of control, food was the one thing I knew I could always get a handle on. It started as a teenage angst thing, but by the time I hit my 20s I was also using cigarettes to stay thin, coveting the moments when my bones poked out a little more than before. This wasn’t fit or healthy, this was skinny, the kind of skinny that eventually makes you sick. Again, it all came back to control – how much COULD I deprive myself? How different could I make my body look based sheerly on will power and sadness? It’s not something I’ve ever really spoken about here before, but today sharing it just felt right.
I’ve been steadily working on my mental health for, well, my entire life really, but this past Christmas was a major turning point for me. I made a lot of big life decisions, quit smoking cold turkey (6 months next week!!!) and made a commitment to start actually taking care of myself. No more days without food, no more replacing breakfast with tobacco, no more lazing around crying over TV shows instead of getting outside or heading to the gym.
For the first time in a long time, I didn’t just want to look better, I wanted to be better.
I can’t tell you how much my life has shifted over the past six months, and these photos are a celebration of that shift, a time stamp of this new season in my life. I’m loving eating well, drinking less, and moving my body more (see you guys at Soul Cycle for spin class soon?) and my mental state has never ever been better as a result. Scarlet O’Neill captured this moment so flawlessly, somehow balancing over me with her pregnant belly like a warrior AND making me feel sexy the entire time. Stole My Heart provided the most insanely gorgeous, intricate lingerie pieces to shoot, and Wild North hit the floral game out of the park. Everything came together in one enchanted afternoon celebrating health and happiness.
I no longer feel the need to control my body, and I can’t wait to see all the beautiful ways it changes in the years to come. After all, women’s bodies are magic.
It’s taken a LOT longer than expected here in Toronto, but there is no possible way Spring isn’t finally at least *close* to around the corner. Since the rest of the world is out shooting their SS18 looks, up North in Canada we head out this time of year rain or shine to get our Spring style on. Rest assured there is a parka and a scarf out of frame in every Toronto fashion photo you see this time of year!
Anyway, enough about my cold struggles (but holy, why is it so COLD?) and on to the outfit.
I have always been a big supporter of dresses, but co-ord sets are a welcome update – not only do you get the cute one-pattern look, but you can also break apart the top and bottom for multiple outfit options! I fell for this gingham set at Hudson’s Bay a couple weeks ago, and though it’s not exactly balmy out I’ve been dying to wear it right away. The best part? It came in at just over $100 after tax – basically three “outfit” options for the very reasonable price of one.
I put writing this post off for as long as I possibly could, likely because on some subconscious level 2017 seemed too difficult to sum up… but as I sit poolside in Palm Springs with a group of amazing, strong women, sipping lemonade made with lemons I *just* picked from the tree, I find myself flooded with the need to put it all down.
Better late than never right?
Though it had small, short-lived pockets of truly amazing, the past year overall certainly wasn’t my best. 365 days is a lot to sum up in a blog post, especially with most humans’ attention span being so short when it comes to digesting online content, but having been a writer my whole life, putting everything out there on “paper” feels like the best bookend to start a new chapter with newfound clarity. Last year I pushed myself to share the intimate details of an abusive relationship I was in, and it was amazing to see the support and connection it created – hopefully we can go into 2018 feeling just as connected!
So what made my 2017? I always read these wretchedly vague posts from bloggers this time of year that promise to be personal but shed little light on actual details. So I say bring on the TMI!
My 2017 was:
Over 3 months spent exploring California
6+ attempts to quit smoking (I think I’ve finally done it though!)
3 trips to New York
2 adventures in places I’ve never been before (NOLA + Havana)
Tried casual sex twice (spoiler alert: I AM TERRIBLE AT IT)
1 weekend spent in a tiny home on a vinyard
2 mended friendships
6 times deleting all of my online dating profiles (and just as many re-building them)
1 book pitch to a publisher
11 hair colour changes
1 new nephew (honorary nephew, but still!)
All the career success
But what about my #2017bestnine? I didn’t post it this year because honestly, it wasn’t correct! My biggest post of the year by a landslide was actually about my most recent breakup (for those of you who operate more visually, there was a rainbow and legs dressed up for a wedding involved). Though I still absolutely stand behind everything I said in that post about my frustration with men, dating, and lack of commitment, I realized that using one boy as the visual for that sentiment simply wasn’t fair – that relationship was wonderful up until the end, maybe one of my best ever, and though that boyfriend was the catalyst for the post, he certainly didn’t define the problem. I want to continue voicing my concerns about modern dating and trying to build a family on your own, but perhaps with a less “attack” direction on just one person (is this how Carrie Bradshaw felt sharing her dating stories?) In case you were wondering where that one went, now you know.
Keep reading if you want more
If I’ve learned any one lesson this year, it’s that women can do whatever the hell they want. We are challenging society like never before, demanding that what we’ve come to accept as normal (aka #metoo) be acknowledged as what it really is: a total nightmare. With the momentum we’ve found coming together in 2017, I can’t wait to see what change is around the corner in 2018. No rain, no flowers, right?
2017 had a LOT of rain for me, so I’m making 2018 all about the bright, beautiful flowers. Personally I find the more I make my goals happen professionally, the more my personal goals seem to flee in the opposite direction (why is it that balance is always so difficult for women?) This year, everything personal takes precedent – what feeds my soul? What do I love? It means less parties, less material, and much more truth. I did a little survey on my page and all of you seemed to want more personal/dating stuff, so that starts here – get ready to get REALLY personal with me this year, likely in a lot of ways you didn’t see coming. I am preparing to take control of my life on the personal front in a BIG, terrifying way (guesses welcome) and I can’t wait to share the challenges and triumphs with you guys – I promise it will be unlike ANYTHING I’ve ever done before, and I hope you guys will be on board with the ups and downs.
Someone recently said to me “2018 is going to be your best year yet, because life is what you make it”, so let’s live up to that prediction – let’s make 2018 our wildest, best, most love-filled year YET!
So I already published the BIGGEST NOLA GUIDE EVER, but believe it or not, there are still a few more posts to come. One of the restaurants in my guide was so special that I figured it was owed an entire post of its own.
Pastel people, meet Brennan’s, one of the pinkest and prettiest places I’ve ever been! I noticed the cotton-candy pink exterior on our first walk through the French Quarter on day one, and without even glancing at the menu I knew we had to go in – it was love at first sight!
A few days later we returned for brunch and explored the space itself, a wonderful collection of whimsical rooms filled with my favourite shades of green, pink and peach. There were hand-painted oyster dishes on the walls, glass lined with drawings of tropical birds, gorgeous tiled tables and a courtyard complete with pink flowers and a turtle fountain! It seemed never ending as I explored room to room, and even the bath room was what dreams are made of.